Tackling the problem of sitting comfortably when driving and avoiding back pain doesn’t require action as drastic as buying a new car. Instead, there are plenty of practical steps to follow that should help most people get comfortable at the wheel.
On the road, comfort rules over style
Not many of us would wear tight clothing and shoes with high heels when cleaning the house or getting stuck into some gardening, so why restrict freedom of movement when driving? Wear comfortable clothes and keep a practical pair of flat shoes in the car if you regularly wear high heels.
Can you depress the clutch and keep your heel on the floor?
Drivers should have their seat pulled far enough forward so that they can fully extend the clutch pedal while keeping their heel on the floor and are able to maintain a slight bend in the knee.
To avoid back pain, keep the seat backrest tilted
The backrest of the seat should be tilted back ever so slightly, to help support bodyweight. Another tip is to check that when turning the steering wheel your shoulders remain in contact with the seat – rather than hunched forward.
Set the headrest above the ears
For safety reasons, it’s vital that the centre of the headrest sits higher than a driver’s ears.
Move those hips
A comfortable seat will position the hips higher than the knees, support the shoulder blades and offer a wide range of adjustment.
Small things are a big discomfort
You should be able to reach the steering wheel yet have a bend in your elbows , looking at the mirrors should just be a simple eye movement rather than a head movement and it should be easy to depress all the pedals, especially the clutch, without lifting yourself from the seat.
Use the adjustable lumbar support
If a seat has adjustable lumbar support, set it so that the back feels like it is in its natural shape, rather than an exaggerated form.
Stretch and shrug
When stuck in traffic or during a long journey, it helps to keep the body mobile. No one’s suggesting you need to break into a Mr Motivator routine; just try some simple but effective exercises, such as buttock clenches, side bends and seat braces – pushing your hands into the steering wheel and your back into the seat – and shoulder shrugs, with a five second hold, as well as shoulder circles.
Don’t forget to take a break
On a long distant it’s important drivers take a break every couple of hours.
Source – blog.greenflag.com August 2015